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Summary: Grief hits us all and when it comes how we handle it can send ripples across the world. Watch as Xander Harris deals with his own and evolves from it.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anime > Other
Multiple Crossings > Xander-Centered
(Recent Donor)TheDivineDemonFR151284,3311914664,22128 Oct 1124 Nov 13No

Chapter two

Ha! No one has guessed who Xander shall become yet! Keep guessing though.

Anyway, I had the basic idea for this story for a while and Klimmatts challenge just gave me a little more push to do it. The idea came to me after watching the first two episodes and wondering why Xander wasn’t more pissed. I mean all these people write about how Jesse was his brother but they put it in as an afterthought, not understanding how far that could drive someone, how it could twist their mind. But I’m ranting and I think you get my point.

Additional note I want to make clear, there is no bashing in this fic, or I’ll try not to. Just personalities, opinions, and philosophies crashing. I would explain but that would lead to a rant.

Enjoy the story


Chapter two: What should we do?



Willow Rosenberg has always been an emotional person. She was quick to tears and always the first to smile. But as she walked to school she only felt numb. Empty.

As the daughter of two psychologists and a genius in her own right she realized that she was going through an Acute Stress Reaction. Or as it was commonly referred to as shock. It was an accurate slang to the term as if felt as if she had been short circuited. Her brain seemed to refuse to process certain events, freezing her in a near empty mental state.

She even realized how robotically she was walking and that the bright smile on her face was probably off and creeping people out. Normally that would have bothered her and given her a tomato like blush but she just couldn't find it in herself to care.

As she moved onto the campus grounds she started to walk towards the library. To be honest she wasn't even going there to see the new-librarian-who-was-really-a-Watcher, though it did help the decision. It was because she was the brain girl, the smart one. The library is where she belonged.

Or so she made the excuse for herself sound.

Again, she was a smart girl, she knew she was feeding a habit to adapt the shock. Why not make it have at least some positive effects? Knowledge was her drug and she injected it into herself whenever she could. The only thing that gave her more of a rush was being able to use that information, or as her boys… Xander said "showing off the head muscle".

She wasn't really showing off, more like appreciating the knowledge gained.

So when she went to the library to get her usual reading material she may or may not ask the librarian some extracurricular questions.

But when she entered the library she found she wasn't the first one there. Or the first one asking about Sunnydale's night time activates.

"How about garlic?" a familiar voice asked as she opened the doors.

"W-we're not actually sure how that misconception started but no, vampires have no adverse reactions to garlic."

"Really? No bad things? Not even with those super noses you told me about?"

The librarian made a humming sound as she cleared the door saw the occupants for the first time of the day. The elder man in tweed and cleaning his glasses in thought had become a fixture in past month but the other figure wearing blue jeans and a brightly colored shirt was a surprise.

He tended to avoid the library unless to find her or get a book for class. And he never came to school early before.

"That has been the idea in the past but other than irritating the vampire it doesn't do much." The British man said as he placed his glasses back on his nose.

"Huh…" came the oh so elegant response from the teen before he turned his attention to the closing door "Hey Will."

"Hey" Came her rather weak response back. She should have been able to say more. Tell him how sorry she was, how sad she was but she couldn't.

He must have understood that because the next moment he was next to her with an arm wrapped around her shoulder. "You okay Wills?" his voice soft as he looked down at her.

She wanted to cry, she really did but her eyes just wouldn't fulfill the action.

"I think I'm in shock." She said neutrally, trying to find some emotion to put out.

"And that is of the bad?" Xander said unsurely. Xander was not much for book smarts. Hell most the stuff he knew cames from comic books and movies. But from his action movies he could guess that shock was bad.

"Not so much… as long as I get over it soon." Again she answered mildly. She hoped it would pass soon enough otherwise she would be forced to seek professional help, which would lead to her parents finding out and getting their version of the third degree over the phone. "What are you two talking about?"

"What pisses off and or kills a vampire" Xander said with a false cheer that anyone could see through. "I was about to move on to crosses and why they hurt the bastards."

"Yes, well, I am still left with a question of my own." The man stammered at first before becoming a little more resolved as he peered over his glasses. "As in why are you asking all these questions Xander?" The man's British accent seemed twist around the unfamiliar name. "While I appreciate your help the other night I must say I was hoping you understood how dangerous the situation was, is."

The boy nodded "Yes, yes I do. And that's why I'm asking questions."

"I can understand that but you're particular line of questions strikes me as odd." Giles said looking at the boy steadily "These aren't questions on how to avoid vampires. These are question on how to combat them, rather aggressively I might add."

Willow blinked, finally feeling something in the form of surprise. Exactly what did she walk into? Had Xander already started to ask the questions she wanted to ask? Or was he just on similar line with a different goal.

"So?"

"So" the older man began "I find myself thinking you want to handle the situation with a direct approach."

"So?"

Giles pinched the bridge of his nose, pushing his glasses up to his brow accidently, while Willow blinked again.

To be honest Giles wasn't so much irritated as worried, for two reasons. The first was that the young man in front of him wasn't considering how much danger he was going to put himself in and two, it seemed the boy was dead set on becoming a hunter, an American hunter. Like he didn't have enough problems as it was.

Demon Hunters were bad enough on their own when dealing with the Council but an American one… they were a bit on wild end of crazy. Last time he saw an American hunter he was firebombing a vampire nest, in the middle of the day, in down town New York.

He wasn't sure if Sunnydale needed someone like that or not. While he wasn't going to keep the two children from helping, he would do his best to keep them as far from the line of fire as possible. But Xander didn't seem to want to sit in the back where it was safe.

"So." Giles said, once again repeating the boy's question "This is not some game that you can recklessly skip into. This is a harsh business" here his stutter came back as he hesitated to tell the teens exactly how most in the 'know' treat their situation "A business many consider a war."

"Just like the stock market" the young man quipped earning a growl of frustration from the librarian. "Look Mr. Giles, I'm not backing down so stop whatever spiel you were about to shove in my face." The boy snapped back at the growl causing Giles to blink as Xander unwound his arm from Willow's shoulder "They took my little brother. I want the ones responsible dead."

Again Willow wanted cry but she couldn't. All she could get out was "Oh, Xander."

Xander didn't look back at the girl he considered a sister as he stared, more like glared, at the other man in the room. "Besides, I asked you already if arrows would work. You said yes, I have arrows, I don't really see what you can do to stop me… well besides breaking my legs but I doubt you would do that."

Usually Xander would have been a bit more respectful but he could still feel the anger from last night pumping through his veins. No one was going to talk him down from what he felt needed to be done.

Giles didn't glare back but he met the boy's brown eyes with his green. He was silently considering what the boy said. It seemed Xander would fight with or without heeding Giles warnings or consent. But if he interpreted the boy's words right he had some skills that might be useful, or he thought to be useful. "And I assume you have the skill to properly hold a bow and fire in the dark?"

"I used to hunt with my dad when I was younger." Xander said with a shrug, losing some of his ire since Giles was willing to listen to him "I'm a bit rusty but he drilled a lot of stuff into my head, mostly on how to shoot an arrow right."

"And you can shoot in the dark?" The man asked again, pointing out one of the biggest flaws in his opinion "And how would you carry around the bow without being noticed by the authorities? And what will you do when you miss and the vampire notices you?" Once he started to think about it there were several problems with the boy's idea and Giles didn't have a problem telling Xander what they were.

Xander opened his mouth once and closed it before speaking "I don't know but I'll work on it." He said omitting the line about batman not being built in a day in his head. He wanted to show Giles just how serious he was about joining the fight. While he was serious that he would go out on his own he figured Giles would know more about how to kill these bastards than his comics would.

And, a second thought came a second later, keep him alive a bit longer. Somebody needed to keep an eye on Willow.

Giles sighed as his weak final attempt failed. "Fine." The British gentleman said "But you will meet my standard before you go out, is that understood?"

Xander pursed his lips but he nodded. He wasn't expecting to go out immediately anyway. "Fine… I'm going to head to my homeroom. Catch up on some sleep before class starts. Want me to walk you to your room Willow?"

The red head blinked, it seemed that was the only genuine expression of the day, and shook her head. "No. I'm fine. I wanted to do some stuff in the library anyway."

"Doing stuff is good." Xander said absently as she stared at her for a second, looking her over for any surface damage. There was none but it didn't stop him from worrying about that shock thing she talked about. "Do you want me to stay or…" He was tired but his Willow came first.

Willow shook her head "No. I'm fine." Seeing his still concerned stare she tried again "Really, Xander go take your nap." When he seemed reluctant she actually said "please"

Xander's brows scrunched together for a moment before he nodded "Alright… I guess. I'll check up with you later."

Willow waited a moment after Xander cleared the door before she started to ask Giles her own questions. Giles in response started to rub his eyes.

Xander found that he couldn't make it all the way to his classroom as he passed by the court yard. To put it simply he was stunned. So stunned he actually stopped in his tracks and shamelessly eavesdropped.

The center of the conversations was the night prior at the bronze and he had to wonder if he was that stupid before too. To just so blindly ignore what was really going on and fall for every paper thin plausible excuse.

Was it hopeful thinking, idiocy or mass insanity?

He crossed his arms as he leaned against a nearby wall, all the while listening to the mindless gossip that was high school.

One conversation seemed to summarize the stupidity in which they lived in, unsurprisingly it was being said by Cordelia Chase. Very hot but not that bright.

"Well I heard it was rival gangs. You know, fighting over turf. But all I can tell you was that they were an ugly way of looking. And that Buffy girl, like, knew them! Which is just too weird. I mean, I don't even remember that much, but I'm telling you, it was a freak show!"

Was she really that stupid? That blind? Was he? Was the super genius Willow?

"Oh, I wish I could have been there!"

That air headed cheerleader definitely was that stupid. Even if she didn't know the truth why would she want to go to a gang fight? Admittedly cool to see, stupid to watch.

Cordelia just nodded her head, seemingly in full agreement with her friend "You should have been. It was creeeeppy."

Xander unconsciously tightened the hold he had on his arms.

It wasn't creepy. It was terrifying. Didn't she have any idea of how close they all came to dying? That some people they would never see again?

"What exactly were you expecting?" a voice asked to his right, startling him enough to stand straight and face her on impulse. At first he saw nothing but open air till he looked down slightly to see a head of blonde hair and green eyes. It was Buffy.

"I don't know. Just something, maybe an assembly about what we all saw." He offered weakly. He honestly didn't know what to expect, something more than what he was seeing at least.

"People tend to rationalize what they can and forget what they can't." A British voice said from behind him, making him jump once again to see who was coming up behind him. What was it, scare the crap out of Xander day or something? He needed to work on not acting like an jittery cat.

Turning around he and Buffy found Giles and Willow walking up to them, Willow's smile still seeming forced and out of place on her face.

Next to him he could see Buffy nod her head in the corner of his eye "Believe me, I've seen it happen." Her face twisted into a grimace. She obviously had some experience with that.

"I'm never going to forget," Willow said in her stirring monotone "None of it."

The other three gave her a worrying glance. Giles hesitantly put a hand on her shoulder, beating Xander to the punch who had taken a step forward to hug his friend "Good. Don't forget. Next time you'll be prepared."

Xander nodded "Next time." He promised himself and maybe her as he wrapped an arm around her shoulder again. Next time would be a whole different ball game.

"Next time is why?' Willow asked. Was there worry in her voice, she wondered. She hoped, she was worried, she thought so anyway.

"We've prevented the Master from freeing himself and opening the Mouth of Hell. That's not to say he's going to stop trying. I'd say that this is just beginning" Giles said

Willow looked at him "More Vampires?"

"More than that. There are numerous threats we may face." Giles said, directing his gaze between the two he knew would or want to do the fighting. He wanted them to understand that while vampires were dangerous and probably their most common opponent there were others out there. A wider variety than they would expect or currently imagine,

"I can hardly wait" was Buffy's sarcastic reply but underneath it he could only hope she took his warning seriously. Xander just nodded at him.

He was honestly worrying about the two new inductees of the super natural world. They had a harsh introduction into the truth and it was plain to see that they were having some severe reactions to it.

Maybe he could dissuade them, make them, all three of them understand what they are walking into "We're at the center of a mystical convergence here. We may, in fact, stand between the Earth and its total destruction" A little thick even for his taste but it was true. It was what they were walking into, they needed to understand. Buffy didn't have much of a choice but the other two did. They were humans with free will, no one was looking over their shoulder forcing them to fight, he could only hope he could guide them to the best options.

Buffy actually smiled at him and quipped "Well, I gotta look on the bright side. Maybe I can still get kicked out of school!"

Xander snorted "Oh, yeah, that's a plan" He said as he started to guide a seemingly dazed Willow to class, he would have to talk to her about that later.

Giles shook his head as he walked back to the library, silently thinking on what books he should lend to help prepare the teens as well when to schedule a test of Xander's supposed skills. He wouldn't have much time to help the two teens between his research, job and Buffy's own training but he would do his best.


AN:

Real quick on Buffy’s height, the actress who played her is five three so a sixteen year old Buffy is probably four eleven or five flat. Xander is probably around five seven right now and Willow an inch or two taller than Buffy.

Also I’m still looking for a beta, so if anyone is interested please message me. The chapters are going to get longer and I would like to have a little back up.

Anyway, tell me what you think and peace.
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